Ramblings, citations and "brainwaves" of a college librarian in Toronto. 475 square feet refers to the size of my home, not the size of my office or library.

Netflix Contest

Folks are competing to build a better recommendation engine. Cool.

Okay Stephen, we've heard enough.

I get what you are saying, but I don't think you get it. We need to be data rich like Walmart, to know what collections are "selling", but we don't have the clout we need with system and content vendors to make it happen. We're still being sold crude tools and services. With that foundation, how good can our services be?

"To succeed in the internet age, libraries must be aware of which traditional roles are no longer needed and which potential roles would be valued, and strategically shift their service offerings to maximize their value to local users. We hope that this document, describing the findings of two large scale surveys conducted in 2006, will help librarians and others interested in scholarship in the digital world think about these changing needs and prompt consideration of how to best serve faculty in a rapidly changing world."

Ithaka’s 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher Education, August 18, 2008, p. 5

A Cool Web 2.0 Graphic

"Just before hitting 30 million books, LibraryThing hit one million user-uploaded covers. So, they’ve decided to give them away—to libraries, to bookstores, to everyone to put on their websites. The process is patterned after the Amazon.com book cover service. Covers come in three sizes. The catch? To get covers, you’ll need a LibraryThing Developer Key—any member can get one. This puts a top limit on the number of covers you can retrieve per day—currently 1,000"
LibraryThing Blog, Aug. 6–7

Neat Videos

"ONLINE databases of scientific journals have made life easier for scientists as well as publishers. No more ambling down to the library, searching through the musty stacks and queuing up for the photocopier. Instead, a few clicks of a mouse can bring forth the desired papers and maybe others that the reader did not know of—the “long tail” of information that the web makes available.

Well, that is how it is supposed to work, but does it? James Evans, a sociologist at the University of Chicago, decided to investigate. His conclusion, published in this week’s Science, is that the opposite is happening. He has found that as more journals become available online, fewer articles are being cited in the reference lists of the research papers published within them. Moreover, those articles that do get a mention tend to have been recently published themselves. Far from growing longer, the long tail is being docked."


Okay this will NEVER happen in Toronto...but if this is the future, I like it!

"This fall, San Francisco will implement the largest mesh network for monitoring parking to date. Around 6,000 wireless sensors from the San Francisco company Streetline will be fixed alongside as many parking spots, monitoring both parking availability and the volume and speed of passing traffic. The city hopes that displaying information from the sensors on Web maps, smart phones, and signs on the street will reduce the traffic and pollution caused by circling cars."

MIT Technology Review

Google Book Search API released

Google now offers a book search API which allows other sites to embed book previews, query for certain book information, or just link to books at Book Search.


IGI Global announces the launch of a new,comprehensive pay-per-view service - InfoSci-On-Demand - allowing researchers, scholars, and practicing managers to search and instantly purchase full-text PDFs of downloadable research. The aggregated database consists of more than 25,000 research articles written by prominent experts and scholars in the field of computer science and information technology management, and is updated with additional
articles on a daily basis. No subscription is needed to access the articles in InfoSci-On-Demand.

InfoSci-On-Demand contains every research book chapter, journal article, teaching case, conference proceeding, and reference material published by IGI Global's six prestigious imprints; "IGI Publishing", "IRM Press", "Information Science Publishing", "CyberTech Publishing", "Information Science Reference", and "Medical Information Science Reference" and is uploaded on a daily basis with new cutting-edge research works, many of which are not yet available in print.

These folks seem to think so....

Facebook Tops 10 Billion Photos

Seems Flickr and others are tiny compared to Facebook. In fact, Facebook can reach throughputs of 300 000 images a second! Wow!

- 2-3 Terabytes of photos are being uploaded to the site every day
- We have just over one petabyte of photo storage
- We serve over 15 billion photo images per day
- Photo traffic now peaks at over 300,000 images served per second

U of T Austin, is piloting a project whereby the university pays for eTextbooks for its students. Amen. Lets hope this becomes the norm. I say roll in the costs into courses.

Cool Search and Discovery Portal

Role of Blogging in Librarianship


You have heard of the Biblio-bus. Now here is the nineteenth century version, the biblio-ass.

Library Floorplans 2.0

Okay, I want the future now!

"Thom Cox works for Tufts University as the Technical Project Manager for the Tisch Library. Space, and the management of it, is a challenge that every library faces. How do you avoid the unintentional transfer from library to labyrinth? They have an Access 2003 Database at their library that manages the stacks (where they are, what’s on them) and that helps managing shifting. They also have a facilities room database showing the square footage of each room, its use, and occupant. They also have a hardware and software database that the IT department uses to keep track of all of the equipment and software, versions, etc. How could they connect all of these databases, enhance it with GIS coding, and use it to make spatial decisions? L-SIMS is their new database of geo-encoded uniquely identified objects like floors, rooms, stacks, computers, wireless access points, and more. What purposes does this database serve? It helps to facilitate analysis and optimization of existing space within the library. It serves as a real-time high quality map generator. It provides access to the square footage of any room in the library and helps assist librarians direct students to library resources. It is a completely searchable query engine that shows what software is on any individual computer in the library. They have also found it to be a critical component of disaster planning. GIS, if you’re unfamiliar with it, is a system of computer software, hardware, data, and personnel intended to help store, manipulate, analyze, and present information that is tied to a spatial location. Much like multi-layered maps in Google, they have multi-layered maps too (floor layer, room layer, computer layer, etc.). They imported CAD drawings of floor maps into ArcGIS. In the new database, by clicking on the room you get significant metadata about it including occupant, square footage, etc. If you click on a stack you find out the stack number, type, material type, floor location, and call number ranges. Clicking on a computer shows drives, RAM, software, monitor type, etc. The design and data integration, including quality control, was pretty intensive during the initial planning process. Their future goals are to make the applications Flash-based so the users can access and use them too. They also want to train others how to create the maps. Their hope is to basically have a materials browse that helps them find materials by type/subject with an on-the-fly generated map with exactly where it would be."

Librarian in Black

"Amazon's Windowshop.com is a new site introduced late last week which allows you to virtually browse through the best-selling Amazon.com products in various categories. You can scroll through the content and zoom in and out on product previews in a style that very much reminds of how the Cooliris browser plugin works. With Windowshop.com, you can virtually "window shop" the latest and greatest in Amazon.com books, music, videos, and games. "


Book of Bunny Suicides

I love that books have their own Wikipedia entries!



Not sure if much is going on here, but I'm going to have a looksie.

GCpedia: Long Live Wikipedia!

Seems the Feds are going to develop an internal wiki for staff.

Mr. Bookman

Okay libraries often have an image problem. This scene of Seinfeld sums up alot of what is thought about libraries.

Student Presentation Practice Studios

I first saw one of these at a library in Atlanta, I think it was Georgia Tech. Students were even able to record their presentations!

Here is another: Sims Library

My library can use one of these...

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What do I do with ATOM?